Cleo Smith: GoFundMe set up as locals join search for girl who vanished from Blowholes Campground Carnarvon
Homicide squad detectives and a tourism helicopter business have joined the search for a young girl who vanished from a campsite in Western Australia’s north amid fears she was abducted or fell victim to the harsh terrain.
Four-year-old Cleo Smith was staying in a tent with her family at the Blowholes Campground in Macleod, near Carnarvon, when she was reported missing on Saturday morning.
Police said Cleo’s family woke to find her gone about 6am, having last seen her inside the tent about 1.30am on Saturday.
Her mother Ellie Smith took to social media to urge anyone who might have seen her "sparkling" Cleo to call police, saying she was wearing a pink/purple one-piece sleep suit with a blue and yellow pattern before she vanished.
Emergency crews launched an extensive land, air and sea search but have so far found no trace of Cleo.
Search crews are scouring an area up to about 5.2km from Cleo’s last known location.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by local man Bill Kent to help Cleo’s family and the search efforts, so far raising more than $24,000.
Mr Kent urged people to skip their coffees or dinners out and instead donate that money to help with the search for Cleo.
"A well respected family of our community has had a very traumatic experience with the disappearance of their eldest child," Mr Kent wrote.
"The land, sea and air search has been extensive, with everybody involved putting in an amazing effort to help locate Cleo."
Two private local companies — Coral Coast Helicopter Services and Double R — are also providing assistance.
"The effort these two small local companies put into this search is amazing, with Justin (Borg) cancelling a paid tour and bringing his larger helicopter up for a full-scale search involving three people in the chopper for the whole day," Mr Kent said.
"Richard from Double R also made an amazing effort to get up here and help."
Kristine Adcock from Coral Coast Helicopter Services told NCA NewsWire the team was keen to help with the search and had been working with authorities to avoid interfering with their drones and other resources.
- Homicide detectives join search for Cleo Smith at Blowholes in Gascoyne
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It is understood expert trackers have also joined the search, which has already involved State Emergency Service personnel and an AMSA jet.
Deputy Premier Roger Cook acknowledged the "heartache and absolute agony" the girl’s family was experiencing.
"We can’t understand the immeasurable pain that (the family is) going through at the moment and I think all West Australians’ hearts go out to them," he told reporters.
WA Police Inspector Jon Munday on Sunday said authorities were "throwing everything we can at this search".
Inspector Munday said the circumstances surrounding Cleo’s disappearance were "unusual" and "extremely concerning" and confirmed a sleeping bag had also been reported missing.
"We are gravely concerned for the safety of Cleo," he said.
"We’re not leaving anything to chance. We’re trying to cover all our bases and we’re not ruling anything out — we’re going as hard as we can for as long as we can to try to find Cleo."
Police worked to ascertain who was staying at the campsite at the time of Cleo’s disappearance and had searched campers leaving the site.
The "extremely harsh" environment surrounding the site was of concern if she did wander off, Inspector Munday said, but conditions at the time were conducive for survival.
Anyone with information is urged to call police on 131 444.
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